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Supreme Court affirms Ifeanyi Uba’s Senate victory

The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the appeals brought by Chief Chris Uba and Dr Obinna Uzor challenging the election of Senator Ifeanyi Ubah as the Senator representing Anambra South Senatorial District.

The Apex Court in a unanimous decision read by Justice Sylvester Ngwuta who led four other Justices of the Court held that the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) lacks the territorial jurisdiction to determine a matter that arose from the primary election conducted in Anambra State as according to him the cause of action emanated from Anambra State and not the FCT.

At the hearing of the appeals brought by Chris Uba and Obinna their Counsel Chief Akin Olujimi, SAN for Uba, and Chino Obiagwu, SAN for Uzor urged the Supreme Court to set aside the decision of the Court of Appeal which had voided the Judgment Of Justice Bello Kawu of the FCT High Court and allow their appeal on the grounds that the FCT High Court has territorial jurisdiction over pre-election matters among other issues raised in the appeal as according to them what determines the cause of action is the originating process.

However, Counsel to Senator Ubah, Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN in his argument urged the apex court to dismiss the appeals on the grounds that FCT High Court lacks the territorial jurisdiction to entertain a cause of action that emanated from Anambra State and not the FCT.

Reacting to the judgment of the Supreme Court Senator Ifeanyi Ubah dedicated the Judgment to God who brought him thus far just as he stated that the decision coincided with the wife, Uche Ubah’s birthday describing the victory as double celebration.

“I give God all the glory that this has come to pass, I dedicate this victory to God and the people of Anambra South who stood by me through all this trial, I equally dedicate this victory to my dear Wife, Uche whose birthday is today.

“We can settle down to deliver on our electoral promises to my constituents.

“I also thank the Justices of the Supreme for standing for truth and Justice. This is has once again shown that our Justices cannot be intimidated.

Dissatisfied with the Court of Appeal decision Chris Uba and Obinna Uzor had gone to the Supreme Court to challenge the Judgment.

Gfhnews recalls that the Court of Appeal Abuja, Division had on March 19 2020, set aside the judgment of High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, which had ordered the removal of Senator Ifeanyi Ubah from office as the senator representing Anambra South senatorial district at the National Assembly.

Justice Stephen Adah who delivered the unanimous judgment of the three-man panel held that the judgment of the lower court was given without jurisdiction and therefore a nullity.

The court further agreed with Ubah that the originating processes which gave rise to the judgment delivered by Justice Bello Kawu was not signed by the plaintiff’s lawyer.

Specifically, Justice Bello Kawu had on January 17, 2020, affirmed his order which nullified Ubah’s election on the grounds that he allegedly used a forged National Examination Council (NECO), certificate to contest the senatorial election that held in Anambra South on February 23, 2019.

The court had on April 11, 2019, ordered INEC to withdraw the certificate of return it issued to Ubah and issue a fresh one to Dr. Obinna Uzoh of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), who came 2nd at the election.

Dissatisfied, Ubah approached the Court of Appeal to set aside the judgement which he insisted was a grave miscarriage of justice against him.

In the appeal predicated on four grounds, the senator insisted that he was denied fair hearing by the trial court, adding that he was neither served with the originating processes nor hearing notice with respect to the suit that led to his sack from the Senate.

Besides, he argued that the Abuja court lacked the territorial jurisdiction to hear and determine a pre-election matter that arose from election that held in Anambra State.

The court also awarded the cost of N250, 000 each against the respondents in favour of Senator Ubah.

While adopting his written address, counsel to the Senator Ubah, Dr Ikpeazu (SAN) has urged the court to allow the appeal and set aside the judgment of the lower court on the grounds that the suit was never filed as the stamp and seal of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) affixed on the originating processes was forged.

He further added that the payment for the originating summons was paid for on September 25, 2019, months after the judgment was delivered.

The Young People’s Party counsel had asked the court to allow the appeal and set aside the decision of the lower court.

Other respondents, Anani Chuka, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Dr Obinna Uzoh, through their counsel, while adopting their written addresses prayed the court to dismiss the appeal in its entirety.

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